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Sweet Honey, Bitter Lemons: Travels in Sicily on a Vespa [Paperback]

Matthew Fort
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
RRP: 8.99
Price: 6.29 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Book Description

2 July 2009

At the age of twenty-six Matthew Fort first visited the Italian island of Sicily. He and his brother arrived in 1973 expecting sun, sea and good food, but they were totally unprepared for the lifelong effect of this most extraordinary of Mediterranean islands.

Thirty years later, older and a bit wiser - but no less greedy - Matthew finally returns. Travelling around the island on his scooter, Monica, he samples almond ice cream on the spectacular coast and intoxicating mouthfuls of sausage stew in olive groves, and goes fishing for anchovies beneath a star-scattered sky.

Matthew is drawn once again to the intensity of life in Sicily, its dramatic landscape and traditions, and discovers how the island's vibrant food culture is intertwined with its often turbulent past.

Frequently Bought Together

Sweet Honey, Bitter Lemons: Travels in Sicily on a Vespa + The Rough Guide to Sicily + Sicilia (Michelin Local Maps) (Michelin Regional Maps)
Price For All Three: 20.43

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Product details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Ebury Press (2 July 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0091910811
  • ISBN-13: 978-0091910815
  • Product Dimensions: 2.3 x 12.6 x 19.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 12,025 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


"Witty and romantic" (Metro)

"An accomplished piece of travel writing that makes you want to explore the island all for yourself" (Sunday Express)

"Perfect summer holiday reading" (The Bookseller)

"Matthew has an infectious delight in proper food" (Rick Stein)

"The finest book on this fascinating cuisine since Peter Robb's Midnight in Sicily" (Christopher Hirst The Independent)

Book Description

Esteemed food critic and writer Matthew Fort takes to his Vespa in search of Sicily's culinary delights.

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Customer Reviews

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4.8 out of 5 stars
4.8 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
44 of 44 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect indulgence 1 May 2008
Many people will have seen Matthew Fort on Great British Menu or read his Guardian columns over the years. His passion for food is totally infectious. And behind his affable demeanour is a sharp mind, wonderful eye for detail and delightfully involving use of language. On this journey around Sicily he also shows an awful lot of himself. It is a very personal journey. It shows not only a sense of the history of the places he visits, it also tells a lot about his own self; his family relationships, his strength of character, his willingness to engage anyone and everyone in his quest. You sense how hard such a journey is; the loneliness of several weeks on a scooter, the uncertainty of what you will find. This is a rare book as it is readable for so many reasons: as a foodie, as a travel journal, as a social document and most of all as a good read. You can be interested in any of these or none to enjoy this.
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34 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Round Sicily on a tour bus 18 Oct 2008
I read most of this book beside a pool in Sicily on a sad singleton's holiday and it was nigh on the best company and travel guide for the trip. It would have conjured the warmth, beauty and passion of the island on a cold winter day in Dorset but the poolside was good. If anyone is thinking of travelling to Sicily you must read this gem. So much useful and witty information.
I immediately fell for Matthew, we are of an age, and his descriptions of trials and tribulations on the way touched my heart.This is an honest, funny, laugh out loud joy of a book. The recipes are spot on too and you could and should eat your way around the island. Suddenly you realise how bad our ingredients are and how we have lost our way with food on a day to day basis, this will get you into the kitchen and off those ready meals in a trice. For the heat of Etna in the depths of winter there is little better than this.
I gave my copy to the tour guide so I have to buy it again, this book is like good food, you want to share it.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An upto date description of Sicily 1 Feb 2009
Searching for a book that truly depicts Sicily as it actually is today, seemed impossible until this book was published. It is the only one that matched what we discovered whilst travelling there for a month. This and Midnight in Sicily are to be recommended as travelling companions.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good read 6 Oct 2011
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I hadn't realised that Matthew Fort is one of the judges on The Great British Menu. Read this book while on holiday in Sicily. Was very interesting to read while you are actually out there. We like eating local and it was great to be able to identify some of the dishes we ate afterwards, and I will try some of them at home from his recipes provided at the end of each chapter. Also gave pointers on what to see in particular places, as well as desciptions of how things are made eg Modica chocolate. Impressed my fellow travellers with details of how it is made that gives the chocolate its 'grittiness'! Matthew has a good writing style and it is the type of book that you can just pick up and put down and skip chapters if you are travelling to a particular area and read the others later. His reflections on what makes Sicilians Sicilians are very interesting given their patchwork of a heritage, but food seems to be what makes them tick.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A beautiful book 27 Aug 2011
A wonderful culinary voyage. Beautiful language, tasty recipes and a nostalgic, almost dream-like, description of a journey with a vespa around the island of Sicily. Simply excellent.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A work of genius 8 Feb 2011
If you want to know as much about Italians as you know about Italian food, get this book. Matthew Fort writes simply and beautifully, and offer simple, traditional recipes wrapped up in a crisp coating of travelogue. Unmissable.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a must for any Sicily visitor 9 Jun 2010
Unsurprisingly this is an excellent effort from Mr Fort which reveals to the reader the astonishing richness and variety of Sicilian cooking.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars As good as a holiday 1 Oct 2009
Mathew Fort writes with passion and love about the country,people and the food.He is amusing in his detailed description and has a great warmth of character that shines through every page. I adored both books.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars gift idea
I bougt it as a bday present for my friend, he said it is a very nice book,
easy to read and well written.
Published 4 months ago by Monica
5.0 out of 5 stars Travels in Sicily on a Vespa
I bought this book in advance of a first holiday to Sicily. I enjoyed reading it, and found so many things when I got to Sicily that the author had remarked on especially some of... Read more
Published 5 months ago by MRS Y OWEN
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful book
This is a wonderfully written book that takes you on a culinary tour of the island. It is a must for any foodee who has ever visited Sicily. Read more
Published 8 months ago by Claire1012
5.0 out of 5 stars Dreamy and fun
Takes you on a truly Italian experience. The scenery, the food, the people all come to life. Dreamy and fun.
Published 9 months ago by azone
5.0 out of 5 stars It was a gift
Bought for a friends birthday and she loved it. We were on holiday in Sicily at the time and had chance to try some of the recommended delights. Read more
Published 10 months ago by J. Smy
4.0 out of 5 stars Do not read
when hungry! Well, he went off again - Sicily this time. - This book is a very good guide to all of Sicily's very rich culture; of course the 334 pages of paperback can only touch... Read more
Published 12 months ago by Atir
4.0 out of 5 stars I'm pleased to have read this before visiting Sicily
Just back from 10 days in Sicily, and made time to read this book before I left. It provides an interesting insight into Sicilian life, or at least those aspects that relate to... Read more
Published 18 months ago by R. I. Gilliver
4.0 out of 5 stars a foodies guide to sicily
this is a chatty description of a scooter exploration of 'off the track' sicily with a large helping of food descriptions and meals taken in various places - it is a pleasant read... Read more
Published 24 months ago by lisbethnad
5.0 out of 5 stars Sweet!
Well written, engaging, informative. A road book on a Vespa - good introduction to Sicily, its people and culture, and, of course, its food [including a useful selection of... Read more
Published on 8 Mar 2012 by rayactually
5.0 out of 5 stars sweet honey bitter lemons
reading this book now its a well put together book. reading this book will bring back sicily for those who have been. or like me who have not but plan to go as soon as i can. Read more
Published on 31 Jan 2012 by harry
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